Michael Bisping is no longer fighting Gegard Mousasi this February. Instead, the UFC announced on Thursday that he’ll take on a returning Anderson Silva in the main event of UFC Fight Night 83 in London.
The fight card will air live on UFC Fight Pass.
Silva, the former long-reigning UFC Middleweight Champion, fights for the first time since his main event win over Nick Diaz at UFC 193 this January. That win was overturned to a no contest after Silva failed multiple drug tests, both out of competition and on fight night, and Silva was suspended for a year. That suspension is up on January 31, and he’s clear to return for the Feb. 27 card.
This will be Silva’s 20th bout in the UFC, and his 20th headliner in the organization as well. However, it’s just the third time he’ll have fought on a non pay-per-view card in the organization, and first off of regular television outlets.
Bisping returns home to England for a fight for the first time in over five years, with his last appearance in England coming in October of 2010. He won his most recent fight, a five round main event victory over Thales Leites at UFC Fight Night 72 in Glasgow in July.
Penick’s Analysis: This fight is far and away the biggest headlining fight the UFC has put on their UFC Fight Pass service. Though they held a title fight on the pay-streaming service in June, Silva and Bisping are still bigger names than Joanna Jedrzejczyk was at the time, and Silva’s coming off a massive pay-per-view buy rate in January at UFC 183. Though he’s taken a hit to his image on the drug test failures and two losses to Chris Weidman, he’s still one of the biggest stars the UFC’s had in the last several years, and this fight with Bisping is one that has been talked about quite a bit. This is a great headliner for fans in London as well, so this is fairly big news.
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